On February 10, President Trump released his Budget Request for Fiscal Year (FY 2021). The budget contains about $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and Social Security. Additionally, the budget cuts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or foods stamps by 30% and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs by 15%. Furthermore, the budget cuts many of the discretionary programs that people with disabilities rely on for their health and well-being. Click here to see a listing of discretionary programs and their proposed percentage cuts. See The Arc’s statement.
President Trump released his Budget Request for Fiscal Year (FY 2021). The budget contains many of the same harmful proposals for people with disabilities that it has in past years, primarily cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security as well as many of the discretionary programs that people with disabilities rely on for their health and wellbeing. The Arc will be analyzing the budget for impacts on people with disabilities and issuing a statement shortly.
On February 13 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET, the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN) will host a webinar on the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. While the proposals in this budget are not expected to be enacted by Congress, the President’s budget reflects the priorities of the Administration, some of which can be carried out through other means such administrative rule-making. In this webinar, experts will discuss what the Trump budget would do and how it would affect people across the country now and into the future. Speakers will be Tamara Fucile, Director of Government Affairs and Senior Advisor, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; and Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs.
All 12 Fiscal 2020 spending bills were passed by both chambers of Congress and signed by the President on December 20, the day the previous short-term funding bill was set to expire. The $1.3 trillion spending package included a few notable increases for disability related programs, though the majority were level funded or saw modest increases. The Lifespan Respite Act program received the largest percentage increase at 48%. See a comparison of disability-related program funding levels here.
In addition, the measure included several tax cuts totaling $426.3 billion over 10 years. This includes repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance tax and medical device tax for businesses which benefit under the ACA. Unfortunately, it did not include any expansion of tax credits for low income people, namely the earned income tax credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The Arc advocated for expansion of these refundable tax credits, which benefit low income workers. Learn more.
Congressional appropriators have signaled progress in a plan to fund the government through the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2020, which began on October 1. Last week, Appropriations leaders announced an agreement in principle on all 12 appropriations bills. According to press reports, areas of agreement on the $1.3 trillion package include flat funding for the border wall with Mexico and no back-fill of funding for military construction funding that the Administration has diverted to the wall. However, no information was provided on how the funding increases will be allocated between the appropriations bills nor what other measures might be included. Text for the bills may be released as soon as today. With the current continuing resolution set to expire on Friday, the bills would need to be voted on by both chambers and signed by the President before then to avoid a government shutdown. Alternatively, one or more short-term funding bills could be enacted to avoid a shutdown.
On November 21, President Trump signed H.R.3055, a continuing resolution (CR) that funds the government through December 20. The additional four weeks of funding will allow lawmakers to negotiate over the line item amounts and a few controversial funding line items, such as President Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico. The measure will provide level funding for most programs at FY 2019 levels; extends several programs; and provides additional funds for the Census and a few health and nutrition programs.
On November 23, lead Congressional appropriators reached a deal on topline spending levels for the 12 annual spending bills for FY 2020. This agreement can pave the way for enacting the spending bills by the December 20 deadline and avoid a government shutdown. Despite the deal, negotiations will need to continue over specifics in the spending bills. If the funding bills are passed by the December 20 deadlines, they can include the addition of tens of billions of dollars that were agreed to in a bipartisan budget deal earlier this year.
The House is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a funding stopgap measure to prevent a government shutdown. The measure would extend the current continuing resolution (CR) from November 21 to December 20. The continuing resolution (CR) comes as lawmakers continue to disagree over parameters for new spending bills, with the largest controversies centered around President Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico. Leaders of the Appropriations committees are negotiating over how to allocate funds among 12 spending bills. Another CR would allow them to put off final decisions about how to deal with the border wall.
On September 27, President Trump signed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government for an additional eight weeks beyond the start of fiscal year (FY) 2020 on October 1. This CR, providing level funding, passed the Senate on September 26, following House passage earlier in the month. After a two-week recess, which starts today, Senators plan to resume work on full-year FY 2020 appropriations bills. The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved 10 of 12 appropriations bills. It still has not approved the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which contains most of The Arc’s priority discretionary programs.
On September 19, the House passed a continuing resolution (H.R.4378) to keep the government funded from the start of fiscal year (FY) 2020 on October 1 through November 21. Meanwhile, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-NY) released a draft of the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill the day before. Most of The Arc’s priority programs receive the same funding level as in FY 2019 in the proposed Senate bill, however some programs receive increases such as Lifespan Respite Care Act (49%) and Special Olympics Education Programs (14%). Funding levels for The Arc’s priority programs can be found here.